Emily bounces back to clinch third Schools title

World schools 800m champion Emily Williams shrugged off the disappointment of losing out on European U20 selection with a magnificent win at the English Schools Track & Field Championships in the senior girls (U19) 1500m.

Logan Reid's hopes in the 100m were hampered by a back strain
Logan Reid's hopes in the 100m were hampered by a back strain

This was the Kettering Town Harriers’ third consecutive English Schools title following on from championship wins over 800m and 1500m in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

Williams went into the race the highest ranked athlete and she produced a terrific performance full of maturity to see off a tough challenge from 2018 silver medallist Olivia Mason.

Williams immediately hit the front and took control with a modest opening lap with Mason sat on her shoulder.

She continued to control the race until Mason injected some pace with two laps to go.

Williams responded and sat in until she put in a powerful surge on the back straight to go back to the front again, taking control of the race from 600m out.

Williams really pushed the pace on the back straight, and in reality, the result was never in doubt as she always had enough to hold off her rival to finish with a comfortable winning margin in 4.26.04.

Williams’ coach Shane Smith said: “Emily has produced a top class performance with a composed race which saw her impose her authority throughout.

“I’m incredibly proud of the way she responded to some setbacks this year with a big performance which highlights her incredible consistency over the past four years.”

The English Schools Championships also saw some terrific performances from Harriers athletes with representation from the sprint, throws and middle distance squads.

Logan Reid, still only in his first season of competitive athletics, powered through to finish second in his 100m heat in a personal best of 10.98.

That sent him into the semi-finals but his preparations were hampered by the fact his belongings were lost after his heat.

Although they were eventually found, and the time for the semi final was changed to later in the afternoon, he only had a limited amount of time to do his warm up for the next round.

Once again drawn in lane six, he got a decent start but was hampered by a back strain and finished in sixth spot.

Hammer thrower Katie Gibson made her second appearance in the Championships and finished agonisingly outside of the medals in fourth.

Gibson bettered her ninth-placed finish last year with a terrific national standard throw of 45.48m, just a few centimetres off her personal best.

Bottom year junior girl Alice Bennett made her debut at the event and ran her second fastest time ever of 2.18.03 in her heat to qualify for the semi-finals.

With just three athletes qualifying for the final, Bennett ran a terrific race and was in third with 30m to go but just ran out of legs to finish fifth – only 17 seconds off one of the fastest loser spots.